FlashDogs: Time

TodaFlashDogs Time covery the third FlashDogs anthology Time, is being released. I have three stories in this volume, which I hope will cause you to want to take a look. It is available as a paperback and as an ebook from FlashDogs: Time on Amazon.

This entire volume is made up of flash fiction. The challenge of flash fiction is that it requires the entire story: plot, characterization, world building to occur in less than 1000 words. It sounds like a rather extreme limitation, but when the right story is crafted by a skilled writer, it is the perfect way to have some creative, light fiction without devoting the time necessary for reading full length books and novels.

All the proceeds of this volume will go to a selected literacy related charity.

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Living Under Curse

The next episode for Jamison’s Battlefields. Here are the previous episodes in order. Like any story you will get the most out of it by reading it in sequence.

The first battlefield was The Battle for the Mind.  Zilkas Asteroid Belt, Jamison’s Rescue,  Dinner with an Alien, Dibolocos Attack, Departure Orders, Homecoming, Into the Darkness, The Family BusinessJewel’s Place, ShanghaiedFirst MarkThe Pirate’s Life, Defensive Position, Adrift, Self Sacrifice, Crash DownThe Lake HouseDancing with Egopods, Lunch with Aliens and Kilkian Alignment

The second battlefield is The Battle of the Hands, Here are the previous episodes in this battlefield Learning to SeeMaintaining Common SenseMeeting CompagnoUnseating DibolocosThe Journey HomewardAmbush on Platinum 9, Refit, Retrain and Rethink, Saved by Rodent Weed, Convoys and Propaganda,  Changing the Moon, Expanding HorizonsRunning the Blockade, Dueling Politicians, Legislation, Delegation, and DeliberationFailed Tyranny,  Political Parties, Visiting the City, Passing the Constitution, Tried for Treason and Necessary Failure.

Today we begin the third battlefield.

The Battle of the Heart

Living Under Curse

Jamison and Chambers had a bunch of questions about the battle of the heart, but Colopher and Colophen refused to answer any of them at this point in time.

“All your questions will be answered at the appropriate time. But first we need to talk about a plan for surviving the next few weeks.”

They spent the next couple of hours going over what they would do. Colopher informed them the CDF forces had developed a secret way of tracking ships. They would soon find the trail and follow them as long as they were in open space. The trail however would be confused if they were in an area where a lot of solar wind occurred, too much gravitational pull, or where other ships have left a similar engine trail. It was this last detail they planned to exploit to escape the CDF.

First they could not go to the planet originally planned because the trail up to this point was like an arrow pointing the CDF to that intention. Instead they would go to a well-traveled freight route and see if they could confuse their trail among a multitude of others. The main trade route between the colonies primary galaxies was the most obvious place to go, but of course this was heavily patrolled by the CDF.

Using the stealth capabilities of their ship they were able to sneak behind a line of freighters, when different ones found their destination they would peel off and head to their destination. Jamison followed one of these freighters when it was heading to a suitably remote location. But instead of following the ship into dock it headed around the other side of the planet and then headed away passing by the sun. He then arced to open space. Once out in clear space he dropped a proximity locator and set it up to send a signal if any other ships come that way. If one did, it would mean he had not lost the CDF.

“So where to now?” Jamison asked.

“Might I suggest a location?” Colopher asked, “Somewhere not on many maps yet.”

“Certainly.”

“Nazaret Hydrogen is a new mining facility just within the boundaries of the colonies. It is new, so it is still quite uncivilized. It is considered unimportant enough that even the CDF doesn’t protect it.”

“Nazaret Hydrogen? Okay, where is it?”

Colopher called up a 3D holographic chart, and pointed to a region of empty space. “It’s about here. But we will have to find it when we get closer. At the moment its location is known only to outlaws, bounty hunters, and a few of the CDF upper commanders.”

“I don’t see a galaxy there, much less a planet?” Chambers was speaking in surprise.

“There is neither. This place is a free standing space station mining space gasses from a slow moving comet.”

Jamison’s eyebrows went up. It was rare for anyone to build a free standing base because that meant air and water had to be constantly hauled in. And the further out it was the more expensive and impractical that would be. So how exactly did this station in the middle of empty space survive?

He figured if he asked his questions they would only answer, he would find out when the time was right. So he laid in a course and continued to drop beacons which would warn him, if he was followed.

After a week and a half of travel they were further out than either of them had ever been before. As they approached the area where Colopher had said they would find a station, she and Colophen left on other business. Jamison and Chambers began a search pattern looking to detect either a station or a comet. Soon they found a massive slow moving comet, but failed to see a station.

When all else failed they circled the comet and as soon as they came around behind, they were hailed. The station was tucked right in the middle of the dust trail of the comet, making it almost impossible to detect.

They spoke with a station administrator named Judasson. For a nominal fee, which had to be paid in non-trackable currencies, he would allow them to dock. Three cases of platinum sweet moss later they were on board the space station. Judasson met them upon disembarking.

“Welcome to Nazaret H.” he said with a lisp that made him sound a bit like a snake. “You will like it here. Very little interference, lots of freedom. But on the other hand, life is cheap and absolutely anything can be acquired by trade.” He was staring at Chambers as he said this.

Her hand instinctively dropped to her side arm, her fingers checking the settings in well-rehearsed patterns. The motion was noticed by Judasson who took a step back and bowed his head slightly in deference.

Jamison didn’t miss any of these details, but also didn’t want to cause any trouble. “Sounds perfect for us. At least for now. So what housing is available on this station, we thought we might stay for a while.”

“Of course, for a couple like your selves, used to the finer things in life, you can rent suites from the station administrator.”

Jamison was sure this man would eat up every available resource he had if he let him. Instead of a presidential suite he negotiated for an apartment among the workmen. He paid well for such mean quarters and paid much better for an assurance the man would tell no one. Then Judasson had a steward show them the way to their new home. Jamison used the opportunity to make a friend and learn about the location.

“How does this station get air and water?” he asked.

“We mine them from the comet.” The young man answered with enthusiasm.

“Oh? How is that possible?”

“The station is equipped with a device Judasson invented. It takes frozen oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen off the comet and process them to make air and water. It also makes hydrogen crystals, Nitrogen dust and a bunch of other things we can sell.”

As they entered the apartment, Jamison asked, “So this station is wealthy?”

“Well no, it’s a part of the curse. Curse, that is the name of the comet. We spend everything we get keeping the equipment running. We have to or we will perish. We can’t slow down the works, or else we will run out of air.”

After they settled in, they wondered how long and what it will be like living under this curse.

Tried for Treason

The next episode for Jamison’s Battlefields. Here are the previous episodes in order. Like any story you will get the most out of it by reading it in sequence.

The first battlefield was The Battle for the Mind.  Zilkas Asteroid Belt, Jamison’s Rescue,  Dinner with an Alien, Dibolocos Attack, Departure Orders, Homecoming, Into the Darkness, The Family BusinessJewel’s Place, ShanghaiedFirst MarkThe Pirate’s Life, Defensive Position, Adrift, Self Sacrifice, Crash DownThe Lake HouseDancing with Egopods, Lunch with Aliens and Kilkian Alignment

The second battlefield is The Battle of the Hands, Here are the previous episodes in this battlefield Learning to SeeMaintaining Common SenseMeeting CompagnoUnseating DibolocosThe Journey HomewardAmbush on Platinum 9, Refit, Retrain and Rethink, Saved by Rodent Weed, Convoys and Propaganda,  Changing the Moon, Expanding HorizonsRunning the Blockade, Dueling Politicians, Legislation, Delegation, and DeliberationFailed Tyranny,  Political Parties, Visiting the City, and Passing the Constitution.  Today we get Episode 39.

Tried for Treason

Jamison’s change of attitude and demeanor was noticed by everyone, but especially by Chambers. She tried to reason with him and cheer him. Jamison found her attempts irritating and began to desire distance from her with almost as much emotion as he had previously desired closeness.

During this time his sullen attitude and at times, outward anger, made him the target of negative press. The colonies that had previously hailed him as a hero now began to see him as a part of the problem. He was depicted as like a trigger happy gunslinger who would kill anyone who might get in his way.

Documentaries on his past were pieced together and eventually someone was found who could identify him as having been a pirate with Lobokidos. The news brought shockwaves to his reputation and quickly there were calls for him to be removed from government. He was allowed to speak on his own behalf, but not being required to he stood stubbornly and refused to say a word. In these proceedings he genuinely missed the advice of Colopher. She remained silent and for all he knew, he thought he would never see her again.

When the vote was taken the congress voted to remove him from office. An hour later he was sent into town on the train, as if he was an unknown personage. He wasn’t unknown though and everywhere he tried to find shelter or temporary provision he was turned away. Finally he just slept in an alley, feeling the situation couldn’t possibly get any worse.

He woke up to find himself surrounded by a small group of soldiers. They demanded that he surrender his weapon and submit to arrest. He considered defending himself, stunning as many as he could before being overwhelmed by the others, but what would be the point? So he let himself be arrested. The list of charges was too long to read on the street, but the highlights were murder, piracy, treason, and theft.

He found his cell in the jail to be considerably nicer than the alley. It was safer, had better food and the rain didn’t soak into him. It was confining but he mused that it was actually a little larger than the sniper’s camp he had called home for four years. The cell also allowed him to research and respond to his charges. This was a part of the processing. For many people it was the whole process. If they would admit guilt they might be given more lenient sentencing. Most would, because in the colonies, technology recorded most every crime that took place, therefore few cases needed a trial.

However, there was no record of Jamison’s crimes. Probably some of the ships had recorded him boarding their vessels, but none of them had survived to present the evidence. Furthermore there was a lot of room to discuss if he was guilty since he was held there as a slave, or whether the laws passed after, could be used to convict a crime committed beforehand. Chambers was granted a leave of absence to attend the trials. It was largely expected that she would be called on to testify, but that never happened.

All but one of the charges were dropped because the laws had not been created yet. The last charge remaining on Jamison was treason, or specifically interfering with alignment. This charge was not dropped. It turns out he was seen leaving a jar of a jelly like substance on a moon. On further investigation this was found to be part of Lobokidos. Those who found it, gathered all the pieces so Lobokidos could be whole again.

Jamison admitted his actions against the Dibolocos, and even admitted his reasons. He however disagreed with the assertions of his opponents that his actions constituted interfering with alignment. They then brought Jenny into court to testify against him, which she did with great hatred. Jenny’s presence shocked Jamison into submission, and her anger just made him withdraw further into himself.

When he stopped defending himself, the negative verdict was guaranteed. He was found guilty, and since the case had been so high profile, his sentence was intentionally severe. He was assigned to a penal colony on Jinkon to do hard labor for ten years. Jamison took the news silently.

The next day a military transport was set to take him and a couple of other passengers to the prison. When he climbed on board, Chambers was in the pilot’s seat. She had a plan to prevent his imprisonment. She would drop off the prisoners at Jinkon, then the two of them could go away together. All he had to do was to hide himself in a secret compartment she had prepared for the purpose.

When they arrived at Jinkon the receiving personnel noticed the count was wrong. They failed to question Chambers though since she was of such higher rank. Then she returned, dropping Jamison back at his private vessel. Twenty four hours later she was withdrawn from the military and the two of them traveled to Platinum 9. Friends there allowed them to hide in the resort. Enjoying the luxury and considering their next move.

They chose to get married in a private ceremony, attended by many of the leaders of the colony. These individuals risked their status with the new government to help the two. Then Jamison and Chambers traveled out, not telling anyone, but planning to make the lake house their permanent home. They were relatively happy. But both of them missed the close friendship they had previously enjoyed with their Kilkian friends.

Heart Problems

About a month ago, I went to the doctor to follow up on my still new CPAP machine and its usage. In that appointment I mentioned to the doctor that I had woken up in the night with a bunch of chest pressure and pain.

He ordered his nurse to hook me up to a box which did an automated EKG on me. I was so relaxed I was almost asleep, but I woke right up when I heard her tone change as she said, “I want to show this to the doctor.” and slipped out the door.

A moment later my doctor came back in the room and informed me that the box had said I had had a heart attack. He was quick to say he didn’t believe that; he believed my slow heart rate and an anomaly in my rhythm had fooled the machine. But to be certain, he sent me for a full stress test which I had done within a week.

For a bit of history, my father was one year younger than me when he had his first heart attack. My middle brother, who is in fantastic shape and goes on long runs regularly, had a heart attack earlier this year. So family history is stacked against me.

In the time intervening I suppose I tried to take it easy, but my schedule was far from normal. I went on a mission trip for five days. I took several days off to paint my house. I also took my wife in for medical tests and attended a meeting which promised to be very stressful for a local ministry.

During all of these events, I repeatedly noticed pressure in my chest. I tried to take it as easy as possible, but I also fully intended to meet all of my obligations. Even the day I went back to get results proved unusual. My car had a tire going flat, so I dropped it to the shop, and walked from there to the doctor appointment. Along the way I thought to myself, if I get a bad report I am going to feel like an idiot for pushing my luck with all this physical activity.

My doctor said the tests demonstrated my heart was completely healthy. As I walked back to my car after the appointment I didn’t notice any pressure in my chest. Since then, I have had some once or twice, but I am ignoring it like I did all my life prior to that first appointment.

This is an example of how life events affect us. Before the box had made the mistaken diagnosis I had never worried about my heart. But from that time until I got the final word, my head (and spiritually speaking, my heart) were filled with concern for my physical heart. This concern caused me to notice things I normally wouldn’t have. Even though I resisted the temptation to live differently, what filled my heart and mind did shape my behavior.Cover

This is an example of why I wrote the book, The Storeroom of the Heart. I wanted to help believers recognize how the content of their heart shapes their potential. Only by doing what we can to control the content of our heart will we allow ourselves to be most useful to God.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can either pick it up anywhere books are sold. You can get it from CrossBooks, or from Amazon. Or if you want a signed copy you can contact me and I will arrange it. You can use the social media links, on the right side of the blog, then contact me by private message.

Doing What You Want

For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. Romans 7:15

CoverThe above verse explains a constant battle Christians engage in with themselves. Sin is so much a part of the human condition that even though we have come to hate sin, we often find ourselves in the thick of it. We can improve, and should always endeavor to gain ground in the war with sin, but we will never celebrate an all out victory.

Fighting a battle we can never win is frustrating. But many believers live a reality that is even worse. They never even make progress.

The book, The Storeroom of the Heart, is for these individuals. It takes the storeroom principle, taught by Jesus in Matthew 12:34-35, and allows the contemporary Christian to explain why they get stranded in this manner. Understanding the storeroom principle can help the believer to begin gaining ground in the battle, shape their lives in such a way as to be useful to the kingdom, and allow them to see principles for successful living that are often overlooked in today’s culture.

The Storeroom of the Heart is available in electronic format, hardcover or softcover. You can order it anywhere books are sold or from the publisher, CrossBooks. If you are interested in obtaining a copy signed by the author contact me on one of the social media links to the right and I will be happy to work that out for you.

Convoys and Propaganda

The next episode for Jamison’s Battlefields. Here are the previous episodes in order. Like any story you will get the most out of it by reading it in sequence.

The first battlefield was The Battle for the Mind.  Zilkas Asteroid Belt, Jamison’s Rescue,  Dinner with an Alien, Dibolocos Attack, Departure Orders, Homecoming, Into the Darkness, The Family BusinessJewel’s Place, ShanghaiedFirst MarkThe Pirate’s Life, Defensive Position, Adrift, Self Sacrifice, Crash DownThe Lake HouseDancing with Egopods, Lunch with Aliens and Kilkian Alignment

The second battlefield is The Battle of the Hands, Here are the previous episodes in this battlefield Learning to SeeMaintaining Common SenseMeeting CompagnoUnseating DibolocosThe Journey HomewardAmbush on Platinum 9, Refit, Retrain and Rethink and Saved by Rodent Weed.  Today we get Episode 29

 

Convoys and Propaganda

Chambers took her battle group out for training prior to beginning combat duty. During the course of this training she first set up her own command to her liking. Then she assisted the captains in setting up their commands. She met them individually, giving them a detailed view of how she arranged her own structure. Then she allowed them to return to their ship and set up their own commands.  Finally she inspected each ship to verify that whatever command structure the captain chose to use would be functional.

When it was time for her to train Captain Avery she found him to be well versed both as a military commander and as a servant of the Kilkian King. He was already aware of her alignment but did not have the advantages that had been extended to her and Jamison.

Captains Corel and Dremmer both were competent officers and she believed they would both cooperate and follow orders as needed in a battle group. Unfortunately, Captain Bittlesworth seemed to have no intention whatsoever of following orders. On the final day of training she gathered all of them to discuss strategy and experience with pirates. Bittlesworth started off the meeting with a sullen attitude, but quickly progressed to accusing her of being inexperienced and incapable of leading. She reigned him in by assuring him she knew how to fill out a court martial. He quickly submitted, but the exchange made it clear to Chambers that she would continue to have trouble with him.

From there the group went to the moon, Adjupt. It served as a space port in the past, but now it was more like a parking lot. It was filled with ships that were afraid to do any trading. She made the normal announcements for a convoy. Even as recently as six months ago these ships would have jumped at the chance to trade under protection, but now they were afraid to go out even with a full battle group guarding them.

About this time though the news broke, carefully crafted and spun by the military command, regarding Chambers victories against the pirates. When word got around that the battle group was commanded by the same Captain Chambers, a few ships agreed to go out under her direction and protection. Normally a convoy might be as many as twenty merchant ships, Chambers would be heading out with only five freighters. It was a very small start.

As they departed to begin trade with outlying colonies, the merchant captains loaded up with different goods to sell and trade along the way. They would also bring back goods from these different colonies to sell at the home planet.

Prior to departure Chambers hosted a formal dinner with each of the captains both CDF and merchant. At this meal each was interviewed on film so the CDF could publish it later if the run was successful. As she watched this process, she became aware of a sense of danger or anxiety from one of the merchant captains. To make matters worse this captain was also actively aligned with the Dibolocos and seemed to have already formed a partnership with Captain Bittlesworth.

When they headed out the first stop was a relatively close star system with two different colonies on different planets. Chambers planned to go to the larger colony first and to the smaller one after. The whole point of a convoy was sticking together for safety. Captain Bittlesworth sent a communication indicating he was taking the one ship with him to the smaller colony and would rejoin the convoy later. Chambers ordered him to stay with the group, but he simply took off with his new friend. All of these events were faithfully recorded for later publication.

When the trading was done on the larger colony for the majority of the convoy, they started toward the other planet in order to join up with Bittlesworth and his friend. But as they approached the planet Chambers became convinced they were flying into a trap of some kind.  She ordered the colony therefore to stop before getting within firing range of the planetary defenses. Bittlesworth sent numerous communications asking, ordering and even begging for her to come toward the planet. She refused and continued to order him to come out to rejoin her.

Finally he did come out, with guns blazing. On one side of him was the friend, his ship now transformed into a gun boat, and on the other side was a more traditional pirate ship. She quickly configured the group to get the military ships between the honest merchants and the pirates. They counted a total of 11 missiles launched toward them.

She also deployed a volley of torpedoes. Instead of placing the torpedoes in front of the oncoming enemies, she put a missile above two and below the third.  The first connected with Captain Bittlesworth’s ship and disabled it. It should have missed him completely, but he dodged downward right into its path. At the same second the two other ships dodged up. The pirate ship was hit and was completely destroyed. The last ship, the converted merchant, saw what happened and survived the first volley, by a sudden turn away. But Captain Avery had fired a single round into that spot of space and it was also disabled and on fire. After a few minutes it exploded. Most likely internal fires found their way to the ship’s ammo stores.

These successes might have allowed for a moment of celebration, but they needed to identify and deal with the incoming missiles.  A few different defenses were utilized, Captain Dremmer deployed a series of drones which each dispersed a storm of holographic decoys. The majority of the missiles detonated beside one of these. Two missiles remained. The first was aimed at Captain Dremmer’s vessel, but Avery’s defenses managed to destroy it with a close range laser as it passed by him.

The other was aimed right at the bridge of the flag ship. Chambers saw it coming on the read out, and as all other options failed she enabled a tactical display of her own and shot a single plasma burst at it. The normal procedure would have been to fill the section of space with multiple shots, but she fired once and downed the bird. All of these remarkable shots had been guided by Colofen’s advice.

They boarded Bittlesworth’s vessel and arrested him and his remaining crew.  A large number was missing. Chambers could guess they had been sold into slavery or executed.

The ships remaining celebrated the victory and Chambers hosted them again for a formal dinner. More interviews were filmed for use in reassuring the public that order was being restored. But as these activities were winding down the Captains asked Chambers to explain the wildly accurate nature of her shots and offensive. To her surprise, Colofen suggested she tell them the whole story.

After a long explanation of the nature of the warfare, she also described the special training she had from the Kilkians. She did not tell them Colofen had been onboard helping her, but she did give anyone who wanted an invitation to align with the Kilkians. By the end of the meeting every one of the Captains chose to align.  The majority of her bridge crew did the same and the same changes occurred on the other vessels, as well.

All of this was recorded by the communication equipment the CDF had provided.

Saved by Rodent Weed

The next episode for Jamison’s Battlefields. Here are the previous episodes in order. Like any story you will get the most out of it by reading it in sequence.

The first battlefield was The Battle for the Mind.  Zilkas Asteroid Belt, Jamison’s Rescue,  Dinner with an Alien, Dibolocos Attack, Departure Orders, Homecoming, Into the Darkness, The Family BusinessJewel’s Place, ShanghaiedFirst MarkThe Pirate’s Life, Defensive Position, Adrift, Self Sacrifice, Crash DownThe Lake HouseDancing with Egopods, Lunch with Aliens and Kilkian Alignment

The second battlefield is The Battle of the Hands, Here are the previous episodes in this battlefield Learning to SeeMaintaining Common SenseMeeting CompagnoUnseating DibolocosThe Journey HomewardAmbush on Platinum 9 and Refit, Retrain and Rethink.  Today we get Episode 28

 

Jamison was holed up in a den under a water tank waiting for his eyes to adjust to find out what was moving around him in the dark. He knew by his senses that he was in no immediate danger, but his imagination was still having a field day. It could be spiders, reptiles, or almost anything else. He stayed calm but was still glad when a few minutes later he could begin to see.

Over the next few minutes he found that the bottom of the tank was leaking slightly. This allowed the soil beneath to be viable and a moss like substance was growing. A family group of some small rodent was living in there, and as he watched the animals both ate the moss and fed it to their young. Jamison thought to himself the whole family would be short lived. Unless it had some unusual qualities anything grown in such contaminated water would also be contaminated.

He spent the rest of the day listening as the men outside milled around and considered their options. Late in the day he heard a couple of them talking about the water. Apparently the colony was dreadfully low on water, would run out soon, and expected no more deliveries since they had no means of payment. They had few choices. Let their families die of hunger and thirst, or filter this water and let them be poisoned by what could not be filtered out.

Jamison’s heart broke at the choice. Soon he came to understand the king wanted him to intervene, but he didn’t know how or what to do yet. He also expected that he would be seen as a traitor if he showed himself. Everyone off world was seen as the enemy that had abandoned them there to die. He was from off world and worse, could only have been left behind by the ship that had rescued the administrators.

Jamison understood how they felt, he himself was hungry and thirsty. But he was especially thirsty. He had not had a drink in almost 24 hours. It would not be much longer before his mind began to cloud and become less trustworthy. In order to prevent focusing on these thoughts and on his thirst, he spent a lot of time focusing on the family of rodents. They were cute, and very friendly. The babies were curious and crawled all over him. The adults were equally friendly and soon were nuzzling up under his hand whenever he was not petting one of them.

The whole family was wiggling around like nothing was wrong. Jamison was getting curious. He waited till it was quiet outside, and risked turning on the sensor he had taken from the control room. When it beeped it seemed so loud he was sure someone would come. But when no sounds could be heard he scanned the water in the ground. Again it was full of heavy metals. But this seemed in opposition to the fact the creatures were healthy. He scanned one of the creatures and found it uncontaminated. This was puzzling. Next he scanned the moss. It was a great deal like the sweet moss dessert, and it was not contaminated either.

Further investigations proved the ground there was super saturated by heavy metals, Jamison came to the conclusion that the plant somehow filtered that stuff out. He scanned it again and when it registered as safe to eat he tried some. It was delicious and a bit like eating watermelon it was so saturated with cleaned water. He had his fill and began to feel his energy and strength return. Being full and warm, he napped and when he awoke it was still daylight. But he noticed the moss had already grown back. Then the makings of a plan took shape in his mind.

He stayed in that den all day long and didn’t come out until evening when he was sure he could move around undetected. He then used rubber hoses to release the water into the dirt landing field between the mine and the settlement. Then he made repeated trips into the den to bring out some of the moss. Each time he spread little bits of moss into the ever expanding puddle created by the water coming out of the tank. By morning the large flat area which had been dirt, looked like it was covered with grass. He tested the fast growing edible moss several times. He found it contained enough fresh water to keep the colonists alive and was totally safe.

When they approached to see what it was, they were anxious to hear from him, and elated to hear they had, not just a means of survival, but a product that would entice traders back to their colony. That is if any could get around the pirates.

Jamison helped the men harvest enough food for their families’ immediate needs and in the process came to know and be known by almost everyone in the colony. As he interacted with them about the new product, the people developed a degree of trust in him. He used this fact to garner shelter, and over the next few weeks considered with the miners what their next steps should be.

First was the question of legalities. After all, they had obtained their situation by rioting, but on the other side of the coin the company had abandoned them there to die, so under common law they had also forsaken any claim to the resources there. So the individuals who had remained would likely be considered the rightful owners of all land and resources.

But who would be in charge of the colony and what type of government would they use. Jamison saw the problems coming and decided to deal with them as straight on by asking for a general assembly. There was no place large enough so he organized it in the cool of the evening on the dry portion of the landing field.

He suggested that the colony form a coop. This allowed for everyone to be a partial owner of the enterprise. In regards to governing the colony, setting its laws and administrating the details of trade, he suggested they elect a temporary council to handle the most pressing details. During this period candidates could campaign by putting forth their plans and ideas. Then after an appropriate period of time they would hold elections for members of a permanent government.

The people approved of this idea, and many asked him if he would head up the council. He called for them to vote on it and after winning by a landslide he accepted. Then they worked out twelve others to work with him. They were men and women who were known and respected among the miners. These individuals would meet together nightly for the next several weeks to work out the basic details which would allow them to move forward.